Ryan Shazier could return to Pittsburgh Tuesday after suffering spinal contusion

Update: Ryan Shazier remains at University of Cincinnati Medical Center overnight for further testing. The Steelers, along with UCMC and the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center issued a joint statement:

Ryan Shazier continues to be hospitalized at UC Health’s University of Cincinnati Medical Center and has undergone a series of tests to evaluate his spine injury,” the statement read. “He will continue to be monitored and treated by the neurosurgery experts at UC Medical Center until he has been cleared to return to Pittsburgh.

“It is expected that Ryan will undergo additional testing and evaluation over the next 24 to 48 hours, and he will then return to Pittsburgh to receive further evaluation and care at UPMC.”

Shazier tweeted his first public statement Tuesday:


The entire football world prayed Monday night as Steelers LB Ryan Shazier was hospitalized after suffering a spinal contusion in the first quarter of the Steelers 23-20 win over Cincinnati. Shazier will undergo more tests to reveal the full extent of his injury but Steelers GM Kevin Colbert shared some positive news in a statement late Monday night:

“Ryan Shazier suffered a back injury and was taken to the University of Cincinnati where he had a CT scan and an MRI to evaluate the condition of his back. Ryan’s injury will not require surgery at this time, and he continues to improve. He will stay overnight to continue evaluations with the hopes of returns to Pittsburgh on Tuesday. We will provide further updates at the appropriate time.”

After Shazier rammed his head into WR Josh Malone, it seemed improbable that he could return home the following day as a terrifying scene unfolded. Shazier laid motionless and had to be strapped to a board before being carted off. Players gathered around praying, some teary eyed. Fears of permanent paralysis made the rest of the game seem irrelevant. Head coach Mike Tomlin admitted that players were distracted thinking of Shazier.

After the game, Tomlin and Colbert visited Shazier in the hospital. Steelers owner Art Rooney planned to do the same after the players departed. Players and dignitaries from around the league expressed their well wishes for Shazier. Even the Steelers’ biggest adversary joined in.

We’ll update this story when more information is made available.